MOS is more than a society of birders. As our bylaws state, we want to further educational, scientific, and charitable pursuits relating to birdlife in Maryland. This includes conservation.

MOS has a very active and engaged conservation committee. MOS attempts to be sensitive to local, state, regional, national and global issues, with obviously the most focus on state or county issues. The committee monitors state and local governments, tunes in to national groups, and coordinates with other environmental groups. The committee testifies at hearings and compiles position papers, writes letters.

Please consider joining the conservation committee to take an active role in conservation, whether that be by participating on committee actions or contacting government officials to share your concerns and ideas on conservation-related issues. Our Conservation Action section highlights recent initiatives and collaborations with other like-minded organizations.

Core Issues

There’s obviously a wide range of views on environmental issues. While MOS respects the diversity of thought within its membership, over time we have had to address several pressing issues and formed committees to research and propose MOS position papers. The Board has taken these issues seriously, debating and refining these position papers during multiple meetings and off-line discussion. MOS has taken the positions on three key issues recently that we believe are largely consistent with membership views and our mission.

Maryland Bird Conservation Partnership

Another aspect of conservation is partnering with like-minded Maryland organizations to promote conservation that benefits birds as well as other species and habitat. MOS partnered with DNR in 2016 to fund a full-time director to lead this ambitious undertaking. Please visit the Maryland Bird Conservation Partnership to learn more about conservation.

Records Committee

The Maryland/District of Columbia Records Committee (MD/DCRC) was established in 1982 as a committee of the Maryland Ornithological Society. The function of the Committee is to:

  1. review reports of unusual sightings within its area of coverage;
  2. determine the adequacy of documentation of such reports;
  3. maintain the official lists of birds for Maryland and the District of Columbia;
  4. publish periodic reports of its findings; and
  5. maintain the primary reports, the deliberations of the Committee, and, in some instances, opinions received from outside experts and/or copies of some of the relevant literature.

The Committee evaluates reports of sightings to convert them into documented records that can be used reliably for scientific studies of bird distribution and patterns of avian vagrancy.

Research Grants

The Maryland Ornithological Society (MOS) annually awards a number of research grants to encourage the study of birds in Maryland.

MOS research grants encourage ecological and conservation research on birds in Maryland. Graduate school projects, projects which involve volunteers, and proposals which are not normally funded through traditional academic, governmental or professional sources are of most interest. Applications for projects that are funded from a variety of sources are strongly encouraged, but grants are open to all levels of researchers from amateurs to graduate students to professionals.

Endangered Species

The following are the species considered endangered, threatened or in need of conservation (ETI) in the State of Maryland as of December 2016. Please note that this is NOT the Federal endangered species list. This list was compiled by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Division. The DNR list and documentation provides information on global status, US status as well as suggestions on documenting sightings of ETI species.

MOS Refuges & Sanctuaries

MOS owns 10 sanctuaries located throughout the state, from Garrett County in western Maryland to Somerset County on the lower eastern shore. They range in size from eight to 1,602 acres and protect a total of 2,264 acres of woodlands, open fields, swamps and marshes. Additionally, two MOS-affiliated sanctuaries (CBEC and Adventure) protect another 600 acres of land. MOS members can visit these sites to conduct research or simply enjoy nature.